Iiu Susiraja On Redefining Portrait Photography

Joacim Nielsen

With brutal honesty and a pinch of irony, Finnish photographer Iiu Susiraja gives us a peak into her world. A universe being targeted as too controversial; a slap in the face; a new way of viewing aesthetics but first and foremost: never boring. Joacim Nielsen talks to the artist and discovers more about her portraits and her attempts to shake up the medium of photography.

Älä eksy grillille – Avoid the grill

Whilst others travel to the end of the earth to find the right shot, Iiu Susiraja finds inspiration in small, everyday things: “I find inspiration when having a moment of rest on the couch. I am thinking of different objects in my mind. The most important matter is what kind of feelings objects generates.”

Kun taikina ei nouse – Dough that isn’t growing

Most of her pictures are self-portraits and each carries out a private, secret story: “the stories behind the images are very personal. I want to keep some of the story completely for myself. That’s why I don’t tell stories.”


She explains that the shooting itself is even a remarkably private moment: “the moment of my photo shooting is a very intimate situation. It would therefore be very difficult to shoot in a public place. There is also a risk that when shooting in a public place there are people who do not want to be photographed. I can subjugate and humiliate myself, but I do not want to do it to others.”

rationaalinen rakkaus

Despite the picture process being remarkably private and the shots themselves concealing secret stories, when they reach the public eye, such images prompt questions. Audiences question the ‘real’ beauty critiqued in her work, her new method of aesthetics and her display of a private lifestyle conducted through modern-day living. The pictures are gaining considerable attention in her native Finland.

Perinnepirkot huomio 1 – Attention conventionalists 1

Although her pictures create controversy, Iiu Susiraja states that she will continue to take pictures from her home – of both herself and her things.

Sinä hautaat sydämiä maahan minun miettiessä minkä arvoisia olemme, iiu susiraja

She still faces one small problem though: “I still shoot the pictures at home, but they may no longer show that many details from home, because my home is already so used. The solution would be to change the apartment.” She concludes “I am sure that I shall always shoot the pictures at home, simply because I like to be there.”

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